President Donald Trump will visit North Carolina Wednesday in the wake of Hurricane Florence’s devastating impact last week, multiple media outlets are reporting.
It wasn’t clear what areas Trump will tour, but the president’s arrival comes with swollen rivers across the state expected to crest in the coming days, forcing thousands out of their homes after the storm dumped double-digit rain amounts.
The president has had a tortured history with disaster relief, given his ongoing bickering with critics over the federal government’s failures in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria last year.
Trump will visit areas affected by the hurricane, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday, though it wasn’t immediately clear which specific spots are on the president’s list. Sanders told CNBC that more details would be forthcoming.
Some North Carolina residents have begun to return to the towns they fled in advance of the storm. Florence had strengthened to a Category 4 storm with wind speeds as high as 140 miles per hour before slowing down by the time it made landfall late last week.
But days after the wind and rain had subsided, water levels continued to rise in some areas of the state, putting more homes and lives at risk.
The hurricane has claimed at least 32 lives, officials said, including 25 in North Carolina. Some measures of the storm’s damage are estimated at $2.5 billion in total insured losses alone.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday that “catastrophic flooding and tornadoes are still claiming lives and property.”
Trump has used his Twitter account to focus mainly on the hurricane in recent days, largely avoiding other issues such as special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and the upcoming midterm elections.